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Carbonel, Cyril; Grasset, Sébastien; Maysonnave, Jean – Physics Teacher, 2018
In astronomy, methods such as direct imaging or interferometry-based techniques (Michelson stellar interferometry for example) are used for observations. A particular advantage of interferometry is that it permits greater spatial resolution compared to direct imaging with a single telescope, which is limited by diffraction owing to the aperture of…
Descriptors: Astronomy, High School Students, Science Instruction, College Students
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Oliver, Douglas L. – Physics Teacher, 2018
The study of vibration in uniform beams provides physics teachers with a platform by which a broad range of physics vibration-related topics can be explored without expensive and specialized equipment. This paper presents two laboratory exercises related to lateral beam vibrations. These exercises use beam theory coupled with free sound-analysis…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Activities
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Williamson, Kathryn; McLaughlin, Maura; Stewart, John; Lorimer, Duncan; Blumer, Harsha; Zabriskie, Cabot; Heatherly, Sue Ann; Lynch, Ryan – Physics Teacher, 2019
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) engages high school students and teachers in analyzing real data from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope for the purpose of discovering exotic stars called pulsars. These cosmic clocks can be used as a galactic-scale detector of gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime that have recently been directly…
Descriptors: High School Students, Secondary School Teachers, Secondary School Science, Laboratory Equipment
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Lamore, Brian – Physics Teacher, 2016
For years the fan cart has provided physics students with an excellent resource for exploring fundamental mechanics concepts such as acceleration, Newton's laws, impulse, momentum, work-energy, and energy conversions. "The Physics Teacher" has even seen some excellent do-it-yourself (DIY) fan carts and activities. If you are interested…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Mechanics (Physics), Motion
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Tarnopolski, Mariusz – Physics Teacher, 2015
Let us consider a classical high school exercise concerning two weights on a pulley and a string, illustrated in Fig. 1(a). A system like this is called an Atwood's machine and was invented by George Atwood in 1784 as a laboratory experiment to verify the mechanical laws of motion with constant acceleration. Nowadays, Atwood's machine is used for…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, High Schools, Mechanics (Physics)
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Allen, Bradley; Liu, Tongtian – Physics Teacher, 2015
Calculating the effective resistance of an electrical network is a common problem in introductory physics courses. Such calculations are typically restricted to two-dimensional networks, though even such networks can become increasingly complex, leading to several studies on their properties. Furthermore, several authors have used advanced…
Descriptors: Electronics, Physics, Computation, Introductory Courses
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Planinšic, Gorazd; Etkina, Eugenia – Physics Teacher, 2014
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are cheap, easy to purchase, and thus commonly used in physics instruction as indicators of electric current or as sources of light (Fig. 1). In our opinion LEDs represent a unique piece of equipment that can be used to collect experimental evidence, and construct and test new ideas in almost every unit of a general…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Light, Energy
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Doherty, Michael; Fish, Vincent L.; Needles, Madeleine – Physics Teacher, 2011
Scientists and teachers have worked together to produce teaching materials for the Very Small Radio Telescope (VSRT), an easy-to-use, low-cost apparatus that can be used in multiple laboratory experiments in high school and university physics and astronomy classes. In this article, we describe the motivation for the VSRT and several of the…
Descriptors: Investigations, Physics, Laboratory Experiments, Astronomy
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Sinacore, J.; Takai, H. – Physics Teacher, 2010
The simple pendulum has long been used to measure "g", the acceleration due to gravity, with a precision of a few percent. Achieving agreement with the accepted value of less than 1% is feasible in the high school laboratory, though it requires some care. The precision of the measurement is bound by how accurately the period and the pendulum…
Descriptors: High Schools, Laboratory Equipment, Telecommunications, Science Instruction
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Angiolillo, Paul J.; Lynch, Jonathan – Physics Teacher, 2010
Ask any physicist what the preeminent journal in the field is, and I think the almost unanimous answer will be "Physical Review Letters" ("PRL"). This weekly journal of the American Physical Society publishes high-impact research from all the major subdisciplines of physics. This journal is not the one you would think is the first place a high…
Descriptors: High Schools, Student Projects, Physics, Science Experiments
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Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr. – Physics Teacher, 2010
Let us now praise famous physicists, and the apparatus named after them, with apologies to the writer of Ecclesiastes. I once compiled a list of about 300 pieces of apparatus known to us as X's Apparatus. Some of the values of X are familiar, like Wheatstone and Kelvin and Faraday, but have you heard of Pickering or Rhumkorff or Barlow? In an…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Laboratory Equipment, Science Experiments
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Scholl, Ryan; Liby, Bruce W. – Physics Teacher, 2009
When most materials are heated they expand. This concept is usually demonstrated using some type of mechanical measurement of the linear expansion of a metal rod. We have developed an alternative laboratory method for measuring thermal expansion by using a Michelson interferometer. Using the method presented, interference, interferometry, and the…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Thermodynamics, Heat
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Ilyes, Mark A.; Ortman-Link, Whitney – Physics Teacher, 2009
Our school recently acquired Vernier's Wireless Dynamics Sensor System (WDSS). The WDSS consists of a three-axis accelerometer, altimeter, and force sensor that has the ability to remotely collect data for later transfer to a computer. While our primary purpose for acquiring the WDSS was to enhance our amusement park physics experiments, we…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Laboratory Equipment, Measurement Equipment
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Krieble, Kelly; Salter, Carl – Physics Teacher, 2008
An important component of many college and university science programs is that of community outreach. Some of the more typical kinds of outreach activities include teacher training workshops, public lectures, open house "science days," and school demonstration visits. The latter activity usually consists of students and faculty transporting…
Descriptors: Science Programs, Outreach Programs, Science Instruction, Laboratory Equipment
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Zou, Xueli; Dietz, Eric; McGuire, Trevor; Fox, Louise; Norris, Tiara; Diamond, Brendan; Chavez, Ricardo; Cheng, Stephen – Physics Teacher, 2008
Since Robert Millikan discovered the quantization of electric charge and measured its fundamental value over 90 years ago, his oil-drop experiment has become essential in physics laboratory classes at both the high school and college level. As physics instructors, however, many of us have used the traditional setup and experienced the tedium of…
Descriptors: Photography, Physics, Laboratory Equipment, Motion